Fashion Week: Jeans, Jeans, Jeans (and taking off 5 pounds instantly)


Right up front, I'll tell you that I don't have any earth-shattering news, tips or opinions about jeans.

In fact, I don't really love wearing jeans.

I am tall - with a 34" inseam - and finding jeans that fit well off the rack is no easy task.

But there are certain times the occasion just calls for jeans - and so I digress.

In my Fashion Guide spreadsheet, I list Banana Republic and JCrew as my two favorite places to buy jeans, followed closely by Gap for their Long and Lean style. I can usually get by purchasing off the rack at these stores.

I guess one of my best tips for buying jeans is to try on several different styles and cuts, even if you think they might not work for you.

We've all heard the "mom jeans" joke and I agree that we must shun the high waists and pleats.

I've personally found the best style for me is low-rise (but not too low-rise).

I venture to say that for those of us 30+, the boot cut style is the most flattering. That little kicky flair at the bottom gives the illusion of slimmer upper legs.

Trouser jeans are another must-have, in my opinion. They usually have a little larger flare at the leg and can be dressed up and worn for many occasions.

Another bit of advice: Make sure you have a pair of jeans that are a good length for flats, and another that are a good length for heels. Usually one pair does not work for both scenarios.

Stick with dark washes and make sure the back pockets look good for your particular booty situation.

Personally, I don't need any fancy designs and big pockets attached to my backside.

Which leads me to a few easy suggestions for dressing five pounds slimmer:

1. Buy jeans in a dark wash and stick with darker colored bottoms all together.

2. Make sure all pants are the correct length. Nothing ruins an outfit like pants that are too short or too long. Find a good seamstress.... and remember most pants can be lengthened at least half an inch if they're too short.

3. Research, purchase and WEAR good foundation undergarments. Say NO! to panty lines, muffin-top rollovers and bulges due to clothes pinching and binding. And as for the chest: lift it it up and hold it in. A professional bra fitting is one of the best investments you can make.

4. Especially if you're short, push up long sleeves and add a wide cuff bracelet.

5. Try various necklines in shirts to see which flatters you the most. Turtlenecks, though cozy and warm, often aren't very flattering. Ballet neck or boatneck tops work for a lot of people as they elongate the neck and add height.

6. Keep patterns and bright colors in check. Less is more. Rely on accessories to give you that special pop of color.

7. Try your hand at wearing longer jackets and coats. Find the style that suits you best. They can cover a myriad of "sins" and make an outfit look pulled-together

8. And finally, wear clothes that fit you. This seems obvious...but when you're out next time, look at how many people are wearing clothes that are too small or too large. Don't hide behind large, baggy clothes thinking you will look smaller. And don't try to squeeze into something too small (see #2 and #3 above).

Purchase clothes for the size you are now, not for the size you think or wish you will be two months from now. You will save lots of time, money and frustration by embracing yourself at this very moment. Everyone is beautiful in so many ways. Use clothing to enhance the wonderful things you have. A size stamped on a piece of clothing should not dictate your worth to the world.
Tomorrow: Shoes, handbags, jewelry and other accessories

Friday: Putting it all together: Photos from my closet of some of my favorite fall and winter outfits.


Tammy :

Jill, great tips! I use to be SO fashion savvy back in my 20's...sadly, as for a few exceptions, I'm Ms. Frump. And actually, I don't have that awful of a figure (but not as good as when I was in my 20's!) but I tend to hide under baggy sweatshirts during the day.
Although I've lost my desire to be a fashion diva, I could use some "sprucin' up" so thanks for doing this! :)

Buford Betty :

Great tips! And I agree... wearing ill-fitting clothes is one of the biggest mistakes people make. Looking forward to seeing your closet! :-)

Gracie Beth :

Those are some fabulous tips! There is nothing worse than the dreaded muffin top!

Holly :

Tons of good stuff here Jill. It's so hard to find a really good pair of jeans with the right leg and rise. I've been happy with Lucky Brand--I like the Easy Rider or Classic Rider. I agree about the darker the better, with a touch of whiskering and stretch.

I'm also a huge fan of the ballet/boat neck top. I feel a bit more polished with that style.

Can't wait for the pics!

Jillian :

Boot cut and low rise jeans, definitely!

Just Mom :

I really, really, really <3 my dark denim bootcut jeans. People have actually asked me if I've lost weight.

Re. the buy one jeans for flats and one for high heels. I learned that lesson the hard way. :-D

*carrie* :


This was fun to read. Since I'm currently in the transition to maternity clothes, I'd be interested in a post sometime to hear how you handled your wardrobe during that season of your life!

Momma Roar :

Love these tips!!

It is amazing how people buy clothes that don't fit...I think what bugs me even more is when they buy shoes that don't fit and either their toes are hanging off the front of their sandals in summer or there is an inch between the back of their foot and the back of the shoe!!

Ang baylis :

Yay, Yay, Yay!
Thanks SOOOOOO much for this post! You know I NEED you! :)
You are a gem!
I'll be back tomorrow... and Friday!
Angie xoxo

p.s. I just bought some straight leg jeans and short jackets (2). I'm in trouble! What shoes do I wear with the straight leg "skinny" jeans? Don't tell me to return the jeans... I bought them in New York!


Thanks for all the fun and useful tips. Is it still possible to get a copy of your fashion spreadsheet? Please send to Thank you.

Kim :

Great tips! I am loving my Gap curvy wide leg jeans in the dark rinse this fall. I wear jeans a lot and my biggest pet peeve is when they are too big in the waist...I have quite a few of those because I have recently lost more weight...I have one of those invisi-belts for that.

Lisa writes... :

Love boot cuts and trousers both!

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